My almost 3 yr old refuses to sleep good at home! He will go to sleep fine at either grandmas house, sleep through the night and sleep til 9am.
At home it's a nightmare. The second we mention bed he cries. We try to ignore the behavior because we've tried explaining why sleep is important and how we all sleep too, that he's not missing out on anything as mommy and daddy are just getting ready for work or whatever. He has a night light and has expressed no fears anywhere except at home (after seeing things on TV about kids not sleeping good bc of monsters etc). We have a consistent bedtime routine. One story downstairs on the couch cuddling with mom, brush teeth, put pjs on, read a short story in bed (staying quiet and calm is becoming a problem now too while reading this bed. We have set rules that bedtime is quiet time- no yelling, jumping, loud talking and getting all crazy and excited). Then we say our good nights and leave the room.
He will cry for an hour at bedtime almost every night from the moment we walk out of the room. Usually it's little stalling things he wants like tucking his feet in, another sip of water, flipping the pillow or wiping his nose. Problem is, we can't really just let him cry to sleep now because he's consistently going on the potty. Often after crying for 40 mins he's been up so long he has to pee. Now he's been starting to wake in the middle of the night to cry too! And he's always crying at the latest by 7am to get up. Usually it's 530-6am (bc we leave for work around 630 and 7).
He naps most days and it doesn't matter if we withhold naps, he still sleeps awful and then is tired on top of things. He spends a lot of time between 3 houses though and I know both grandparents have their "own set of rules". This has been a big issue since day one... He goes to bed later usually (9pm ish) and I know he's always has a different routine everywhere.
In the end he only has issues at home... Is this an attachment thing? A control thing? A normal behavior? Sleep has always been a problem in one way or another... Since day one...
It sounds like you are doing all the right things. I am going through the same thing with my two and half year old, and I'm getting frustrated too. I am in college, and no naptime and not sleeping at night means I get nothing done since his dad won't help when he's home so I can study, and keeps him up at night until I get home so I can put him to bed. I just try to make sure he plays outside as much as possible to sleep sounder and keep a routine, but sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.
Wow, sounds like you're feeling pretty exhausted! And, you're not alone, it's not easy finding a good sleep routine with toddlers. They know how to work every angle!
But, I do think there are some strategies out there that might be worth looking into. For example, from my time at Focus on the Family, I've come across some suggestions on how to deal with issues like these in an article at http://bit.ly/4JCYsn and http://bit.ly/yDYZ60.
Also, since sometimes behaviors like these can turn into a battle of wills between parents and kids, I thought you might be interested in a broadcast I heard recently about "Surviving the Strong-Willed Child" at http://bit.ly/xJ5YMe. Seems to offer some good advice from another parent who has been in the trenches!
So, just some ideas to consider-hope they help! Hang in there-the toddlers years don't last forever!